It is indeed time to rejoice. After the struggle to allow cornrows and twists in the army, the ban on dreadlocks is now also finally lifted. I can only imagine what it must have been like for women like Staff Sgt. Chaunsey Logan of Fort Stewart in Georgia.
Staff Sgt. Chaunsey Logan
Miss Logan who has been serving the army for 14 years was aware that she was at risk of being removed any time because of her micro-locs. Thanks to the sergeant’s creativity and persistence she made it long enough that her natural hairstyle isn’t the thread anymore that would hold her career back.
Still, one might wonder if it was the choice of a lesser evil.
Imagine trying to keep your hair neat and straight while being deployed in a place where there are no Black hair salons. Sleeping with rollers or hot combing your hair nearly every morning to comply to rules based on a hair structure fundamentally different than yours. The extra stress is one thing, the hair loss related to this constant practice of straightening is yet another.
According to Davette Mabrie, a hair stylist from San Antonio who has been in business for 36 the chemical treatments to straighten caused damage hair and hair to fall out. With 40% of clientele from the army, Ms. Mabrie said she had seen so many cases, that it just hurt her heart.
Sadly the reality is that the vast majority of Black women who are not in the army still feel the pressured to go through hoops to comply to hair dress codes that deny them the humanity to wear hairstyles natural for their texture. Dress codes based on stereotypes still rule after centuries of slavery.
Clearly we got a long way to go. So please support BAD Hair Uprooted, my social injustice project to fight for equal hair rights. My goal is to shoot for justice, changing perceptions one headshot at the time.